Anti-Racism

US police killings still at 100 per month

Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin’s trial for the killing of George Floyd last May opened on 8 March. Even after last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, and with all the attention focused on the police, the number of killings they commit has remained very high. According to mappingpoliceviolence.org, 1,127 people were killed by US police in 2020. In the first two and half months of 2021, the figure was 207. Chauvin faces charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — but has pleaded not guilty to all. Three other police officers will face...

“Kick the racist out!” Rebellion at Pimlico Academy

On Wednesday 31 March, their last day of term, almost a thousand students at Pimlico Academy, the flagship school run by Future Academies, sat down in the playground and refused to go to lessons.

The students were protesting a racist school uniform policy, which instructed students with afro...

Class inequality and racism: the travesty of the Sewell report

The government-commissioned Sewell report into “race and ethnic disparities” (which can be read at bit.ly/sewellreport) has been widely panned as minimising the reality of racism and racial disadvantage in the UK, and rightly so. I don’t know to what extent the report reflects the honestly held views of the Sewell commission’s members, and to what extent they were just keen to ingratiate themselves with the Tory hierarchy and get ahead. Though overwhelmingly black or Asian, they are a privileged and conservative bunch even by the standards of such things, including six holders of MBE or CBE...

Haffkine and Saklatvala: epidemics, vaccines and revolutionaries

Workers' Liberty recently published a pamphlet about Indian socialist and anti-imperialist, and 1920s UK MP, Shapurji Saklatvala. (You can buy it here.) The pamphlet explains: His youngest daughter and biographer Sehri speculated that the seeds of revolutionary politics were planted in Saklatvala's mind when he volunteered to help Ukrainian Jewish bacteriologist Waldemar Haffkine combat the plague which killed hundreds of Bombay's people every week for years at the turn of the century. Haffkine was a former populist-socialist and political refugee from Czarism. As Saklatvala would later...

Labour's shadow equalities minister promotes anti-traveller leaflet

A Labour Party leaflet distributed in Orford, Cheshire, for the 2021 local government election campaign promises that a Labour council would “deal with traveller incursions”. (Pictured below.) For many opportunist Labour politicians, calling for harsh crackdowns on travellers can be seen as an easy – and still-respectable – means of getting votes from bigoted constituents. In 2019, another Labour front-bencher, Toby Perkins, published election leaflets that said that “Travellers were extorting thousands of pounds for leaving illegal settlements,” and that he was “disgusted” by this. What is...

"Kick the racist out!" Rebellion at Pimlico Academy

Republished from our school workers' blog Class Struggle On Wednesday 31 March, their last day of term, almost a thousand students at Pimlico Academy, the flagship school run by Future Academies, sat down in the playground and refused to go to lessons. The students were protesting a racist school uniform policy, which instructed students with afro hairstyles to cut their hair and students wearing hijabs to cover all of their hair; miserly and “humiliating” free school meal provision; the failure to support students that have been sexually assaulted at school; a whitewashed history curriculum...

Siyanda Mngaza appeal opens

Siyanda Mngaza’s hearing in the Court of Appeal opens on 23 March. In May 2019 Siyanda, on a bank holiday outing in the Brecon Beacons, was attacked by three people. Defending herself with a glass in her hand, she cut one of the attackers. She was convicted of “Grievous Bodily Harm” in March 2020, and is now serving a jail sentence of four and a half years. The third and last online meeting of a “Free Siyanda tour” will be on Saturday 27 March, 4-6 pm here.

Feminism, Interrupted: a write-up

This write-up follows a discussion in Workers ’ Liberty’s socialist feminist reading group. Usually held in South London, the monthly reading group has been held online during the pandemic. To get involved, write to: womensfightback@workersliberty.org Feminism, Interrupted is the second book from Lola Olufemi, co-author of A FLY Girls Guide to University. A cross-between an introductory text and manifesto, the book is a collection of ten essays covering topics from trans rights and islamophobic misogyny to food and art. The first chapter, “Know your history”, reflects on a rich history of...

Network Rail: do black workers matter?

Network Rail has just published its ethnicity pay gap report for 2020. The results are a bit better than Network Rail's first report last year but still show big problems.

The ethnicity pay gap is the difference in the average hourly rate of pay for workers from black and ethnic minorities...

John Brown through different eyes

Many in the Abolitionist movement to destroy US slavery were originally pacifists, militantly anti-slavery but hoping to convince slaveowners to abandon the institution. Many of the growing number of black Americans who joined the movement opposed such ideas, and events would severely test even those Abolitionists most committed to non-violence. When the Civil War finally came in 1861, the vast majority backed the Northern war effort. Abolitionist leader John Brown, the subject of recent seven-part TV series The Good Lord Bird, was frankly opposed to non-violence. He devoted himself to...

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